Aaron Rodgers is no longer on the Packers' roster, but his contract held the team back. Handing Rodgers a massive extension in 2022 never made any sense. Not unless the Packers had pivoted on their decision to draft Jordan Love and wanted Rodgers to close out his career in Green Bay. But that wasn't the case.
They got one more season out of Rodgers -- an 8-9 record without a playoff berth -- before trading him to the New York Jets a year too late.
And the Packers have paid the price. Literally.
Of the players under contract in 2023, Green Bay's highest cap hit is $12.91 million. But the team is also paying $67.68 million in dead money, including a ridiculous $40.31 million for Rodgers's contract.
Around 17 percent of the Packers' 2023 salary cap is taken up by Rodgers's deal, a player no longer on the team.
It's not Rodgers' fault. Why wouldn't he accept a major contract extension in 2022? But the situation hurt the Packers. It forced them to rework other deals and limited their flexibility in free agency.
The contract comes off the books in 2024, which is the good news, but the $40 million dead cap hit was damaging to the Packers this season.